Nicole, the great white shark, swam 11,100 km (6,897 miles) from Africa to Australia in just 99 days (December 11, 2003-February 28, 2004).
This was the first documented round-trip ocean crossing by a shark, swimming farther than any other known shark. Nicole, also traveled back after the crossing, covering a total of 12,400 miles (more than 20,000 kilometers) in nine months. Nicole thus set a second record: the fastest back-and-forth swim across an ocean of any marine creature.
The shark was tracked with an electronic tag that had been attached on November 7, 2003. The device had been set to pop off on a specific date in late February 2004.
During Nicole’s approximately 11,100 kilometer trip from South Africa to Australia, she swam close to the ocean surface more than half of the time. She also spent a lot of time deep in the ocean. Swimming near the surface may have allowed her to use the stars, the moon or planets as a kind of compass or map, but scientists are uncertain about this.